Davis '79 talks to The New York Times about impact of financial crisis on charitable foundations

Florence Davis ’79, a member of the Law School’s board of trustees and president of the Starr Foundation, which donated nearly $200 million to charitable causes in 2006, told The New York Times that she expected the foundation would honor its existing commitments but make smaller grants going forward in light of the financial crisis on Wall Street.

“At least for the time being, some of the initiatives will be put on the back burner,” Davis said. “That is unfortunate because more than half of our giving over our 53 years has been in the city of New York: well over $1 billion.”

The foundation’s recent donations range from a three-year commitment totaling $50 million to a stem cell research project involving Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Rockefeller University to a $600,000 grant to train New York state teachers who work with the visually impaired.

The foundation’s assets have fallen by at least $1 billion since the end of 2006, or nearly one-third of its total value at the time. The foundation held more than 15.5 million shares in American International Group, the troubled insurance giant that received $85 billion from the federal government.

Read the article in The New York Times